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Amy Grant ‘puts a little love in her heart’ in her current tour

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Romantic love songs are always in the Top 40, but artist Amy Grant has sung about love from more than just a romantic angle.

Many of Grant’s songs share the love associated with her faith; her hit “Baby, Baby” was inspired by her daughter, Millie; and her current love song “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” is about having a love for humanity.

Originally written in 1969 by Jackie DeShannon, its lyrics encourage people to think of others and make the world a better place when they “put a little love” in their hearts.

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“A highlight for me after the release was that Jackie DeShannon posted how wonderful it was,” said Grant in a telephone interview. Grant, who was born in Augusta, will be in concert at the Miller Theater May 25.

On March 28, DeShannon posted on her Facebook page about Grant’s cover of the song.

Amy Grant publicity photo

“She is one of my favorite singers. I was thrilled beyond words when I saw her music video,” DeShannon wrote.

In this social media age, people are often quick to make callous comments online about people they don’t even know, Grant said. In the real world, people have differences, but because of love they are able to work through them.

“There are a lot of people who live lives that are disenfranchised,” she said. “We need to make room for them at our table.”

The six-time Grammy and 26-time Dove Award winner knows a little about disenfranchisement.

She started her career recording Christian music and fell under scrutiny by those in the Christian community more than two decades ago. After 16 years of marriage, Grant divorced her husband Gary Chapman in 1999. She’s been married to country singer Vince Gill since March 2000.

Grant’s management tried to shield her from some of the backlash at the time, but she was aware of the judgement thrown her way. Even today, she doesn’t look at her social media pages and the sometimes vitriolic comments people can make there.

She recalled playing for a fundraiser several years ago in Minneapolis. During her visit there, she met with the promotions’ director at the local Christian radio station. She said she had a great time catching up with him.

It wasn’t until after the fact that a member of Grant’s team told her she was glad that meeting had taken place, a statement that confused Grant at first.

“She said, ‘You didn’t wonder why you haven’t played Minneapolis in 10 years?’ That radio station had taken my music off the air,’” she recounted the conversation.

The fundraiser she played for was for an organization with a ministry called TreeHouse Hope, whose mission is to end “hopelessness” in teens, according to its website.

When TreeHouse Hope’s director told the Christian station it needed to up their Amy Grant playlist, the station countered with, “There’s not one.”

The non-profit then said, “We minister to marginalized youth, and you need to get your priorities straight. That information is not helpful.”

Grant said that period in her life taught her how to lean on God’s mercy and concentrate on the log in her own eye and rather than looking at the splinter in others.

 It also “put a little love” and more compassion in her heart for those who are disenfranchised and marginalized. She mentioned those in the LGBT community specifically, adding that she has a lot of gay friends as well as a niece who is engaged to a woman she met while they served together in the Peace Corps in Mongolia.

The love she has in her heart all comes back to the faith she has.

In the fall, her album “Age to Age” will celebrate its 40th anniversary, and songs from that recording will be highlighted in her fall tour. Despite the 40 years that have passed since its release, songs on that album still touch Grant’s heart.

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One specific song is “Arms of Love,” written with her ex-husband as well as her friend Michael W. Smith. It’s a song inspired by her faith.

With only her voice and a piano on that album, the song is simple but heartfelt prayer.

The chorus is

“I have found a place where I can hide;

it’s safe inside your arms of love.

Like a child who’s held throughout a storm;
You keep me warm
in your arms of love.

Last fall, Grant had a songwriters’ gathering at her Tennessee farm.

“When it was my turn, I picked that song, and I couldn’t sing it,” said Grant, who listened to the audience sing it when she was overcome with emotion.

The May 25 concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $49 to $79. For ticket information, call (706) 842-4080.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the managing editor of The Augusta Press. Reach her at [email protected] 

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